Expert Review: 2023 Blizzard Hustle 10 Skis [with Video]
Ski Expert Theo G. tested the 2023 Blizzard Hustle 10 skis on carving, freestyle, and freeride at Powder Mountain in Utah.
Curated Ski Expert Theo G. tested the 2023 Blizzard Hustle 10 at Powder Mountain in Utah this spring. Check out how it performed in the carving, freestyle, and freeride categories, but don’t forget, every skier is different and what works for one may not work for all. If you have any questions on the Hustle 10 or would like recommendations on what skis would be ideal for your needs, reach out to a Ski Expert here on Curated.
Before we jump in, a quick note that Curated Experts are not sponsored by any brands, all of these reviews are completely unbiased.
What does Blizzard claim about the ski? The Hustle is marketed as a gift from Blizzard to the experts of the world who enjoy 50/50 backcountry resort skiing. Blizzard just released this ski as an intermediate option between the Rustler line/Cochise and their Zero G touring skis.
What is your overall impression of the ski? It’s heavier than something that you would take on really intense backcountry missions but more precise than a forgiving backcountry ski, something like the Atomic Bent Chetler 120, which is lighter, obviously a bit wider, but is more forgiving and better for powder conditions. It's a lot lighter than the Rustler.
It doesn't have the same metal through the ski. You get bounced around a tad more than you would on a ski with some metal in it like the Rustler, which is Blizzard's option that's more resort-focused, or any other sort of skis that contain significant metal and Titanal through the core. It has carbon instead, but that carbon gives it a fairly smooth ride. It's stiff. It's not overly light, which has been a major issue with the Zero G for people who want to ski it in a more casual context, other than really intense couloirs and chutes in the backcountry.
It's a ski that performs well when carving around the mountain with an all-mountain binding like these Griffins we have on here. It's precise. It does have a bit of tip on firm groomed terrain, but beyond that, it is designed primarily for the backcountry or putting a touring binding on.
This is a great ski for the quiver and great for groomers, but also can hold you down a little bit in the backcountry. When I first started skiing on these Hustle 10s, I was, I'm not going to say unimpressed, but not much stood out. The more I skied on them, I realized they're exceptionally precise for their weight. They hold up well at speed.
It's not generally what I would take into the woods or off-piste. But for the majority of sidecountry, backcountry, and 50/50 skiing that someone might do, these are really exceptional. I think Blizzard designed them, as their marketing folks have made clear, for expert, high-level, advanced skiers to take into the backcountry without compromising performance. And I can honestly say they don't lose anything compared to some of the lighter backcountry skis I've been on in the past.
They ski really well in resort. I would be happy putting a pair of resort bindings or Marker Griffon on these and taking them home and skiing them a handful of days every season because I think they would be a blast in a lot of conditions. They're only 102 millimeters underfoot. So not a big powder option, but for the backcountry and a lot of variable conditions you might get, 102 is perfect. It keeps the weight down, and it'll allow you to ski fresh snow without sinking too much, giving proper float to your turns.
Something else I love about this ski is it's not overly precise like the Zero G or other lighter skis made by high-performance manufacturers that often cater to an ex-racer audience or just a really precision carving-focused group of skiers in their all-mountain skis. They are fairly forgiving. You don't notice them too much in a turn. They're not snapping you in and out of turns or hooking at all. The one thing I would say is I had to ski these in a fairly forward stance. They are 180, which is a few centimeters shorter than I might normally be on. I stand 5'10", so I usually go for 182, 184. But at 180, I did find I was skiing a little bit more centered and forward. That said, it was a really fun ride that didn't make me resent this ski at all. I think this is the length I would choose instead of the 188, which is a step up, and that forward-centered ride really gave me the opportunity to take advantage of how precise, quick, and agile these things really are.
What is the profile of the ski? As you can see, the ski profile features rocker in the tip that starts about 4/5s of the way up the ski. It's got a good amount of camber underfoot, which I did find to provide adequate edge hold on groomed, icy, firm terrain, which is what we were on primarily at Powder Mountain here in Utah.
What is the edge hold like? This ski was fairly nimble edge to edge, which speaks well of its ability in the trees. I've got these skis when they're really nicely tuned, so the edge hold is fantastic. They hold an edge well on steep, groomed terrain, even in the woods and some really challenging, sticky snow conditions.
How is its energy? This is not a ski to rip GS turns down steep, firm groomers. That's not to say it didn't perform well in that terrain.
Any chatter in the ski? This is a fairly stiff ski and the camber underfoot means that through the turn, I didn't feel unstable. There wasn't a lot of chatter underfoot. I will say thought that those tips are a bit looser than something you might find that is designed for all-mountain, something with metal through the ski. There was some tip chatter, especially off-trail in cruddy, rough terrain. They chattered a small amount, nothing that bothered me, and I don't think anything would bother anybody considering purchasing these.
How does it feel at speed? For a lighter ski option at speed, these are the most that one could hope for. I've skied other light, all-mountain skis that verge on touring skis, the Bent Chetler 120, Bent Chetler 100, the 4FRNT Hoji, and even the 4FRNT Raven. And I think these hold up at speed on groomed resort terrain as well as any of them.
Any playfulness or pop in the ski? It isn’t the most playful freestyle-oriented ski. This is a more traditional backcountry option, and it skis both in the backcountry and in resort with very little playful spirit. It doesn't have a lot of pop when coming off rollers, which I was able to take it on at Powder Mountain here. It doesn't have a good twin tip for skiing switch. This is not something for someone who has a new school style or likes to ski playfully. I like to ski cliffs, moguls, jumps, in the park. I had a lot of fun on these. But don't purchase these thinking that you're going to be able to spin them easily on jumps. They're just simply a little too light and precision-focused in terms of their construction. They're not going to be that stable on landings. There's not a ton of pop. When I was hitting a section of rollers, I was having a really hard time popping and getting air, like I was in the morning when it was much easier on the Reckoner 102s.
What about riding switch? Don't get this ski if you plan to do a lot of switch skiing. It doesn't have a good twin-tip shape, and it's not designed for switch skiing in terms of its mounting point and rocker in the tip and tail.
What would the float be like in powder with this ski? I think these would float well in powder because they're fairly wide at 102 millimeters. They do have some rocker in the tip, a little bit in the tail, a very small amount, and they're light, which makes a big difference compared to a ski that has more metal in it, which will cause you to sink with the extra weight in powder. I would love to ski these on a day with eight to 10 inches of fresh snow in Vermont in the backcountry, in Wyoming in the backcountry. In Utah, I would take them up Patsy Marley and Grizzly Gulch, which is a pretty mellow touring run, on any day that wasn't a 12 to 16-inch, or plus, powder day.
How is its maneuverability in the trees? These were fun in the trees; however, with the snow conditions today, they were hooking a lot, and I didn't feel very stable. It's a little lighter and looser in the trees than something I might prefer. It was getting bounced around a bit. I think that's because they are more focused on carving and attacking steeper terrain and varying turn size and shape than most skis that you would bring into the trees. That said, if there was fresh snow, I think it would be a different story. Right now, though, I would take out a heavier ski in the spring. I would not choose these for spring skiing.
There are some good backcountry options, like the Bent Chetler 120 that do get bounced around in the trees, but they make up for that with added float and powder. I don't believe that the Hustle 10 would do so.
What terrain is ideal for this ski? This ski won’t sacrifice performance no matter the terrain. However, for someone who doesn't spend a ton of time in the trees and isn't dropping big cliffs, I think this is an excellent option off-piste, just because it'll give you exceptional control, really precise turns, and quick edge-to-edge action to be able to maneuver through trees. As something that's not super wide and light, it would be able to stick in heavier or wet snow off-piste and out of bounds.
Somewhere like the East Coast or the Pacific Northwest might find this to be a great touring option. For most other moderate touring, this is going to be a ski that allows you to perform the way you would in resort without compromising weight.
I think it's best suited for that backcountry skiing, either after a storm when it's tracked out or in moderate powder snow. I would say this is a ski to keep to groomed terrain, packed powder, days after a storm, and storm days in terms of when you're skiing it, both in the backcountry and resort. It did perform really well on groomed terrain. And I think that's because Blizzard designed these skis for an expert advanced skier who is going to be arcing medium radius, short radius, and even some longer radius turns on low-angle terrain. As a powder option, this could be wider and lighter for the backcountry where powder is often untracked, very light, at least here in Utah.
What terrain is not ideal for this ski? They're not going to be my choice for tight, technical, steep lines, shoots, and couloirs, Blizzard makes a ski for that. It's the Zero G, which comes in a 95, a 105, and also an 85. That's an exceptional ski for high-consequence terrain where you need a very light option with good edge hold. Due to the tip rocker and its fairly resort-derived shape, this is not something that I would take in that sort of terrain.
You're not going to have the most fun if you're going out of a backcountry gate into sidecountry and skiing really tracked out, frozen over stuff that might have frozen the night before, had been slushy the day before. Keep it to ideal conditions in the resort and the backcountry.
I would not take it out on powder days in the backcountry. I would not recommend it for spring touring. I don't think it's narrow enough and doesn't have enough energy to push spring snow around.
Who would you recommend this ski to? I would recommend this ski to expert skiers who spend time in the backcountry and the resort. They're carving on groomed steep trails, skiing the trees in the resort, and skiing everywhere in the backcountry. It's not going to be the lightest ski out there when taking it out of bounds, but it will allow you to ski with good style, do a lot of turning, and hold an edge, no matter the snow conditions off-piste. I think it's super versatile, but I think you have to really enjoy skiing in an aggressive forward, centered way. But for expert skiers on the East Coast and the West Coast, I'd say this is a fantastic option.
Who would you not recommend this ski to? I don't think they are suited to anyone who spends a lot of time popping off of cliffs and jumps. They're not going to be as good on landings as other options. It doesn't make sense for someone who is stomping cliffs, looking to ski with a freestyle style, or spends a lot of time in the backcountry and is looking for the lightest option. This is in the 1,700g range. You could go lighter.
If you're looking for a really light touring ski to take on long tours, technical descents, and big lines, this isn't going to be the best choice. You're going to want to go for something like the Zero G, like the Scott Superguide, or something like that.
I would not recommend them to anyone that describes themself as being primarily a freestyle skier, unless they're looking for a ski that is dissimilar to how they normally ski on.
Different skis work differently for different types of skiers. So if you'd like help finding the right pair of skis for you, reach out to Theo or another Ski Expert here on Curated for free, personalized recommendations.